2020 Conference Committee
Gil Rich – Teen/Youth Program Director
Gil (he) is the Gender Odyssey Teen & Young Adult Program Coordinator and directs the youth groups for the Gender Diversity family support meetings in Seattle. He has over 18 years’ experience developing leadership and community-building programs that help youth recognize their potential. His background includes teaching within the Seattle and Atlanta public schools and serving in leadership roles with Camp Ten Trees, Lambert House, the YMCA, and the WSU-4H Challenge Programs. Gil had the unique opportunity to grow up as a gender-nonconforming kid with an identical twin who was also gender-nonconforming. Growing up knowing there was someone else like him in the world provided a foundation of self-confidence and pride that he hopes to pass on to the youth that come into his life.
Brook Markley - Housing Coordinator
Brook (they/them) is the House Coordinator for Gender Odyssey. Brook is a parent and Navy wife in San Diego, CA. Brook is a Parent Ambassador for Trans Family Support Services, they are on the San Diego TransPride planning committee, and has been an active volunteer for organizations across the country. Brook is a former educator and current student of Social Work and has two decades of experience advocating for students with disabilities and their families. Brook is an avid reader, loves to garden, sew, and spend time laughing with their two teenagers.
Jesse Pullen - Volunteer Coordinator
Jesse (he) was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He is an active duty U.S. Navy Chief with 10 years of naval service. He brings a long history of volunteer experience to his first year volunteer coordinating for Gender Odyssey. As a new resident of San Diego, he is looking forward to work with and meeting folks in the community.
Huddle (she) is the administrative assistant to Aidan Key and the parent services manager at Gender Diversity. She helps facilitate the parent support groups, sets up school trainings and conducts parent intakes. In her former life, she was a dental assistant working with individuals going through cancer treatment but most recently a stay-at-home mom. She is a fierce mama-bear when it comes to her trans son & and a reticent but committed activist. Her free time is spent quilting, crafting, hanging out with her family & loving on her dogs.
Joshua Riverdale – Web Manager
Joshua (he) is a web developer and marketer with more than 20 years of professional experience. He has been working on the Gender Odyssey websites since 2008. That year also marked the beginning of his gender transition, which he continues to chronicle on his popular blog, Gender Outlaw. Joshua lives in rural British Columbia, Canada.
Kathie (she/her) is the Executive Director of San Diego-based TransFamily Support Services, and a leading authority on supporting transgender and non-binary youth and their families. A tireless advocate for the LGBTQ community, she was named “Woman of the Year” by California Assemblyperson Todd Gloria, and one of the “Best People of San Diego” by CityBeat Magazine. A certified life coach, parenting instructor and motivational speaker, Kathie’s work has been featured in the New York Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune and on the NBC News. She has lived in San Diego for 25 years, raising her children here and regularly crisscrossing the county to work with families, school, healthcare and the organizations to promote understanding, inclusion, and equality.
Laura Young - Kids Camp Assistant Director
Erin Burk - Photographer
A fine arts portrait photographer, light seeker, and lover of the human soul, Erin (she) creates space for people to be seen. Her honesty and openness break down facades that unleash the beauty of what is real. Erin’s formal training and artistic eye combined with her light spirit make way for a raw and intimate collaboration. The images created are truly unique to her process. Erin travels the world in creative collaboration with some of the most unique souls, to share and experience what its like to be seen, as we are. Her work with Gender Diversity is based deeply in the need for her family too, to have a voice, and be seen.
Kristin Wilson-Key – Programming, GO scholarships
Kristin (she) is a behind-the-scenes force throughout the Gender Odyssey planning year, having numerous and varied responsibilities since her first GO in 2008. Kristin facilitates Gender Diversity Family Support Groups and especially enjoys talking with new parents, helping orient them before coming to groups. Kristin is also a Gender Diversity Trainer.
Margaret Taboada – A/V Coordinator
Margaret (she) is excited to return to support the Gender Odyssey conference for the 5th year. She has a trans granddaughter and nephew and supports them as they discover their full potential as individuals. Margaret recently retired from Boeing as a project manager, and is now pursuing her musical talents & skills as a DJ and competitive amateur ballroom dancer.
Sarah Vining - Registration Lead
Sarah (she) found great comfort in the information she received when she attended a Gender Diversity support group for parents of transitioning adult children. She knows how important it is to advocate for a loved-one who is transitioning, as well as finding answers to help the whole family adjust to their new normal. Sarah has volunteered with other transgender-ally organizations in the past and is to be proud to be associated with Gender Odyssey.
Kristine Grandlund - Sponsor Coordinator
Kristine (she) lives in Oceanside CA and has a 20 year old transgender son. Always a strong ally and advocate. Her passion to learn and help others learn more about the barriers facing our trans family members is a driving force of her volunteerism. Kristine loves nature, her family dogs, anything in the water and adventures with her friends.
Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, Monica (she) is the mother of Isaac, a transgender youth who was assigned female at birth but began to identify as male at the young age of two. The whole family began the transition when Isaac was twelve years old. Monica, her husband Arturo, and Isaac are the founders of Transforming Family—a support group for families with transgender youth in San Diego, and Monica facilitates the Spanish support group belonging to PFLAG. She is co-president of FDS (International Association of Families for Sexual Diversity).
Nadja Dee Witherbee – Youth/YA Programming Assistant
Nadia Dee (she) is a graduate of the telecommunication and film department at San Diego State University. She has spent 12 years working in the film industry and became a member of the Local 600 Camera Union. She left Burbank to transition in Seattle and has volunteered for Gender Odyssey, Gender Diversity, Camp Ten Trees, and Lambert House and served on the board of directors for Ingersoll Gender Center and Camp Ten Trees. Combining her love of film and the community, Nadja Dee created SOLD: Examining the T in TV Commercials, presented at Gender Odyssey and Translations Film Festival. Currently working with the Youth/YA Program, Nadja Dee brings her love of film and television, art, music, and special-effects film make-up to Gender Odyssey.
Nikki Neuen – Associate Director
The parent to a non-binary trans son, Nikki (she) attended her first Gender Odyssey in 2014. It felt like a family reunion. In January 2017 she joined the team as a full-time staff member and has been building infrastructure and programs ever since. In preparing for conference she creates marketing pieces, administers websites and applications, cheers on volunteers, and does a lot of herding in general (often referred to as project management). Year around she co-leads the Gender Diversity TYTANs, facilitates parent support groups, markets, fundraises, administrates, etc.
Vatsa Sri Sreedhara – Staging & Logistics
Vatsa has been involved with the Gender Odyssey conference for the last many years managing venue and logistics. He also works as the youth program manager at Gender Diversity. Vatsa has over 15 years of experience in IT, HR consulting, and non-profits, and has always been passionate about diversity and equity. He volunteers with organizations that promote social dialogue and change, including Trikone Northwest, a support group for queer South Asian folk in and around Seattle. Vatsa lives in Seattle with his husband. In his free time you would find him reading, writing, singing, dancing, or napping!
Arin (he/she/they) is a trans activist working with Trans Family Support Services who has helped plan and execute multiple trans centered events including SD Trans Pride, Trans Day of Remembrance and Trans Day of Empowerment. Arin is constantly looking for ways to give back and build support for the trans community. He is excited about join the Gender Odyssey team and looks forward to working with the group to put on another amazing event. Arin is a professional dog groomer and can be found making many puppies show their pride with rainbow colors.
Kate Budd - Continuing Education Coordinator
Kate Budd (she) brings over 20 years of marketing, financial and organizational development experience to TransFamily Support Services. As the parent of a transgender child, she is dedicated to using her skills to help ensure the education and advocacy work of TFSS can continue to grow. Kate is the local coordinator for the Bike for Kids Foundation and works full time as the CFAO of a national insurance lead brokerage and agency. She has a BA in Communication from the University of San Diego.
Aidan Key – Founder and Programming Director
Aidan is thrilled to celebrate 20 years since organizing his first Gender Odyssey Conference. As the director of Gender Diversity, Aidan leads the largest network of support groups in the nation for families raising trans and gender diverse children. He currently serves as Board Co-chair for Seattle Children's Hospital Gender Clinic. When the conference is not demanding his attention, Aidan offers trainings for schools, organizations, health providers, and social service agencies through Gender Diversity Education and Support Services. Aidan's work has led to numerous speaking engagements, as well as TV, radio, and other media appearances. He is the author of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: Child Chapter (Oxford University Press 2014) as well as a coauthor of "Gender Cognition in Children" (Psychological Science 2015).
Courtney Ware - Kids Camp Director
Courtney (she) is a San Diego-based LGBTQ youth advocate. She has worked with children for 10+ years, and the LGBTQ community since 2011. She worked for the San Diego LGBT Center for a year as the youth center coordinator, as well as volunteered with Camp Aranu'tiq, Transforming Family, PFLAG, and San Diego Pride in the Children's Garden.
Laura Gonzalez-Garcia - Spanish Translation
Laura (she/her/hers) is from Guanajuato, Mexico and during her search for resources to help her and her family understand and support her transgender son, she was fortunate to find Trans Family Support Services. Under their guidance and support, her family has found knowledge and community. Last year, Laura and her son attended Gender Odyssey and it changed their lives! She is grateful that Gender Odyssey creates a safe place for all families and is especially grateful for the gender-diverse Latino community, where under the leadership of Monica, outreach travels beyond culture and language.
Joan Irving - Session Host Coordinator
Joan (she) is the parent of a transgender son and is active in her San Diego community advocating for gender equality and inclusion. She is on the Board of Directors for both TransFamily Support Services and the Escondido Arts Partnership and Municipal Gallery. She has been immersed in the arts and education community for 25 years and has served as a Public Arts Commissioner for the City of Escondido.
Laura Gutierrez - Spanish Language Specialist, Housing
Erin Angelo - Volunteer Coordinator
Erin Angelo is on TransFamily Support Services Board of Directors where she oversees the their marketing team and all Salesforce functions. She brings expertise in videography/editing, social media, and workflow management. She began working with trans/non-binary youth and adults at the 2019 Gender Odyssey Conference. For 2020 she is in charge of the volunteers for the Gender Odyssey Conference. She is betrothed to her lovely partner Charlie McNabb.